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Honolulu Shopping in Upgraded Facilities

Updated on July 10, 2017
elayne001 profile image

Ruth Kongaika was born in the Rocky Mountains and has lived most of her life in the South Pacific. She travels, gardens and writes.

Ala Moana Shopping Center at Night
Ala Moana Shopping Center at Night

Ala Moana Center is the one of the largest open-air shopping centers in the world. It is also Hawaii’s largest shopping mall with over 260 stores, specialty kiosks and restaurants. It caters to locals as well as tourists from all around the world.

Plan of Ala Moana Shopping Center
Plan of Ala Moana Shopping Center
Construction of Ala Moana
Construction of Ala Moana
Makai Food Court
Makai Food Court

A Little History About Ala Moana Shopping Center

Walter Dillingham purchased 50 acres of unwanted swampland in 1912 from Bishop Estates for $25,000. Actually Waikiki was mostly swampland as well into the 1800′s.

Plans were announced in 1948 for the shopping complex. The Ground breaking ceremony occurred in 1955 and construction began in 1957.

When it first opened in 1959, it was the largest mall in the entire United States with 89 stores and 4,000 parking spaces. The Mall of America built in Bloomington, Minnesota became the next mall to become the largest in America. Today Ala Moana is one of the 15 largest malls in the U.S.

In 1966 Ala Moana doubled in size and added J.C. Penney and Liberty House.

In 1987 a food court with 19 restaurants and 900 seats was added.

The current owners of Ala Moana (General Growth Properties) use Ala Moana as a template, and have invested a billion dollars to remodel other centers across Canada and the United States.

The Ho'okipa Terrace was opened in 2005. It has ten incredible restaurants all in one place including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., California Pizza Kitchen, Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks, Mai Tai Bar, Pearl, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Ruby Tuesday, Tanaka of Tokyo, and Tsukiji Fish Market and Restaurant.

Ala Moana Shopping Center Today

The mall is very close to Waikiki, so it is convenient for tourists. A shuttle runs every ten minutes from Waikiki seven days a week. It also has plenty of parking for those who are driving, and it is within walking distance of the Ala Moana Beach Park.

For the locals, Ala Moana includes a grocery store, post office and a night club (Pearl Ultralounge). For all, it includes a huge international food court. You can also find fine dining facilities.

Interesting facts about Ala Moana Shopping Center:

"Ala" means street, and "Moana" means ocean in Hawaiian. The Developers chose the name "Ala Moana" because it explained the location of the center.

Hawaii became the 50th state eight days after Ala Moana Center opened Hawaii in August 1959.

Eleven of the original mall retailers from 1959 are still at Ala Moana Center today, although they may not be in the same location.

  • Sears
  • Longs
  • Foodland
  • Slipper House
  • Crack Seed Center
  • Reyn's
  • Shirokiya
  • Watumul's
  • Territorial Savings
  • U.S. Post Office
  • Dairy Queen

Unique to Ala Moana

The mall features open-air corridors, which are lined with palm trees and tropical vegetation including real banana trees.

There is a center stage for performances which feature local entertainment including dancing, singing, and much more. The Royal Hawaiian Band (accompanied by hula dancers) frequently plays at Center Stage, which is one of the most popular amphitheatres in Hawaii.

They often have fashion shows on the center stage and since it is open air, they can have fireworks for special celebrations.

Down the center of some walkways are koi (fish) ponds with lilies where you can sit on the rocks and relax. There are also amazing waterfalls to enjoy.

The mall has high-end shops including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Versace and Armani, as well as department stores like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus.

Ala Moana covers 2.1 million square feet and has four levels of shopping and dining options.

Ala Moana Shopping Center:
1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA

get directions

(808) 955-9517


Submit a Comment
  • peacegirl101 profile image


    9 years ago

    Thanks so much, elayne! I love my dolphin avatar too, I think its the perfect profile image for me! :)

    Aloha and Mahola for being nice! :)


  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I love seeing your pretty dolphin avatar on my hubs. Thanks for stopping by.

  • peacegirl101 profile image


    9 years ago

    Thanks, elayne! And i love commenting to your hubs! =)

    Aloha and Mahola!


  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Hope we can do all that you want while you are in Hawaii LianaK. We need to make a schedule. Thanks.

  • LianaK profile image


    9 years ago

    Wonderful hub! Another place on my checklist of things to do when I come back to the islands this winter :).

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Aloha to you peacegirl101. I always enjoy seeing you on my hubs.

    @SimoneSmith - guess you will just have to fly on down to Hawaii and get your fill. Thanks for stopping over.

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    9 years ago from San Francisco

    I can't imagine how I missed this when I visited Honolulu! What a place!

    And gosh elayne001, you're KILLING me with these lovely hubs! Now I'm positively dying to go back to Hawaii T________T

  • peacegirl101 profile image


    9 years ago

    Thanks, Elayne. Aloha

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I hope you can visit too Purple Perl. Thanks for commenting.

  • Purple Perl profile image

    Esther Shamsunder 

    9 years ago from Bangalore,India

    Thanks elayne001 for sharing. Hope to visit someday! This hub will certainly come in handy.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I woke up and found all your welcome comments. Glad that you enjoy seeing our mall here in Oahu. It is truly a treasure. You can really spend a whole day there. It is not too far from where I live. Hope you can all visit soon. Aloha.

  • Cheeky Girl profile image

    Cassandra Mantis 

    9 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

    My fervent wish is to travel here some fine day and see this amazing place for myself. Well done here, this has whetted my appetite!

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    9 years ago from London, UK

    Gosh, the world is so beautiful. Thank you for your wonderful hub an pictures.

  • Judicastro profile image


    9 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

    Elayne great hub, love the pics. My husband was the manager of the shoe dept in liberty house at their San Fran store. Great mall, thanks for sharing!

  • peacegirl101 profile image


    9 years ago

    OH MY GOSH! WHAT A MALL!!!! I would LOVE to visit a mall like that!!! I love to shop LOL!! Thanks for sharing information about this beautiful mall!-!-! Aloha

    P.s. I love your new map/directions feature! I know Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii is that far from where your city were you live? Thanks aloha

  • breakfastpop profile image


    9 years ago

    Looks lovely.

  • msorensson profile image


    9 years ago

    Ohhh Elayne...memories...

    I love Liberty House and Shirokiya. Glad to know they are still there.

    Yes I have been to the high end shops too but they added it after I have already moved so I only went to them when I visited a couple of times.

    For the most part Liberty House had everything I liked when I was there, but of course I love everything made in Japan so for that Shirokiya was great. Thanks for reminding.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    great hub with beautiful pictures. Wish I could see them one day. Thanks for sharing.


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